This week was mostly about whipping my query letter into shape and getting it ready to go off to editors. Which I have done now (two queries out) and will do some more this week.
Query letters are intimidating. I think virtually every writer would like their query letter to say: "Look, could you just read my damned story, okay?" and leave it at that. I feel like I have a bit of an edge on this process, since I've been writing ad copy professionally for +5 years and the principles are pretty much the same, but it's still a bit of a trial.
From what I've seen, the thing that most writers run into is a difficulty boiling down their own story to its key, interest-grabbing essentials. Actually, the problem for writers is that there is a sense that if you can write a 250,000 word epic fantasy novel, a page of sale copy ought to be a snap. It doesn't work that way. Copy writing is its own beast, and there are writers who are superb at other sorts of writing that can't scratch together a piece of decent copy to save their lives.
(By the same token, if you've ever tried to read a full length book written by someone who knows only copy writing, you have tasted a special flavor of pain.)
In terms of fiction writing, I'm progressing along on a short story that is currently called "The Dragon and the Aussie." It's about a friendly dog meeting a wary young dragon. Not enough to build a trilogy on or anything, but I think it'll be a sweet little piece. Short stories are a nice way to keep in practice between stretches at novels. I'll have to look more deeply into the ins and outs of short story publication once I get a few under my belt.
Speaking of short stories, I have also been combing through some of my older stuff to see if there's anything up to snuff for publication. Jury's out on that, but there are some fun reads, and I'm thinking I'll go back to these pieces and start posting them on DeviantArt once and a while (linked to this blog as well), and give people something to read.
Also on the agenda: making this blog look more interesting. Needs some art, some links, stuff like that. It's pretty bare-bones right now.